After months of speculations from both the NBA media and fans alike, Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons has officially requested a trade.
Over the past four seasons, Ben Simmons averaged 15.9 points per game on 56% shooting from the field, while putting up an impressive 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists per contest. These impressive stat lines, three All-Star appearances, and a case for Defensive Player of the Year last season made him a valuable trade piece among teams.
However, below-average playoff performances in last year’s Eastern Conference Semifinals has left a sour taste in the mouths of various front offices. While the talent is present, concerns about commitment, confidence, and leadership leaves room for hesitation among Simmons’ critics. Without the inconsistencies in the playoffs, the price for the 6’11” point guard may be exceptionally higher.
Unfortunately for President Daryl Morey and the 76ers, the trade value of Simmons is at an all-time low. Morey will need to concede to the high price he was once asking for Simmons. The reported asking price of a young talent, an All-Star, and multiple picks has been ridiculed to this point. If Morey commits to offloading Simmons, however, there are a few trade packages than can be agreed upon.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Ben Simmons
Philadelphia 76ers: D’Angelo Russell, Jaden McDaniels, 2022 1st Round (Unprotected), 2024 1st Round (Top-10 Protected)
While this trade may anger some fans, this could be a sweet deal for a 76ers team looking to make a title run. Russell gives Philadelphia the ability to shoot along the wing; an aspect they desperately need. While the defensive lapses with Russell are apparent, a back line defense of Matisee Thybulle and Joel Embiid is more than enough to cover up for the mistakes Russell commits. The pick compensation thrown in by Minnesota is a reasonable price for Simmons. If one believes the Timberwolves will be healthy, the pick could fall in the later stages of the first round. On the other hand, it could just as easily slip into the top 10.
Portland Trailblazers: Ben Simmons, Tyrese Maxey, Matisee Thybulle, 2022 1st (Unprotected), 2024 1st (Unprotected), 2023 1st Round Pick Swap
Philadelphia 76ers: Damian Lillard
The days of Morey believing he can finesse teams in trade negotiations seems to be over. It goes without saying, but the Portland Trail Blazers will not trade Lillard until he makes a formal trade request. Unless both the team and Lillard mutually agree to depart, this trade is unlikely to occur. However, if given the approval, Portland could be in position to make a blockbuster trade involving their superstar. Lillard has a hefty advantage above Simmons in the talent department, meaning the 76ers would need to sweeten the deal with their young talents and draft assets. For Portland, this is a trade to secure the future for a superstar that might end up elsewhere.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Ben Simmons
Philadelphia 76ers: Collin Sexton, Kevin Love, 2022 Top 10 (Protected 1st Rounder), 2022 Second, 2022 Second (Spurs)
In this scenario, Philadelphia gets the young point guard with shooting ability they have always wanted in Sexton, along with a veteran locker room presence with championship experience in Kevin Love. With picks to sweeten the deal, this more than compensates for the loss of Simmons. While the contract of Love is lucrative, many still believe he has more in the tank.
Sexton, who averaged a very impressive 24.3 points per game on a poor Cleveland team, could use this to vault himself into an incredible player alongside Embiid. With the spacing Sexton provides along with the ability to fill in the gaps when Philadelphia struggles offensively, this trade might be one we look back on and wonder why they didn’t do this sooner. For Cleveland, this move upgrades their ceiling and makes their roster construction intriguing. With multiple talented big men on the roster, this move makes the Cavaliers a threat to small-ball oriented teams.
Sacramento Kings: Ben Simmons
Philadelphia 76ers: Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley III, 2022 1st Round Pick, 2024 1st Round Pick, 2023 1st Round Pick Swap, 2025 1st Round Pick Swap
The 76ers would rather have future star point guard De’Aaron Fox, but I don’t see Sacramento giving him up in trade talks at this time. While realistic, I see this trade as the least likely to occur. Both teams seem to be firm on their price for each player, so there is no telling who could ultimately be moved in a deal. Sacramento would be more than happy to trade Bagley, who has struggled to stay on the court to this point. Hield, who has had some issues with the Kings rotation and has previously expressed his displeasure with certain team functions, would be a massive improvement upon Philadelphia’s shooting struggles. Simmons heading to Sacramento would be welcomed by Kings fans, but few are naïve enough to think they acquire him without losing Fox.
Golden State Warriors: Ben Simmons
Philadelphia 76ers: Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, 2022 1st Round Pick (Top 15 Protected)
Golden State Warriors : Ben Simmons
Philadelphia 76ers: Draymond Green, James Wiseman
For Golden State and Philadelphia, there seem to be a few trade options that are possible in the Ben Simmons trade talks. A package of Wiggins and Wiseman with a pick seems to satisfy Golden State, but leaves the vocal Philadelphia fans wanting more. While I don’t see Golden State completing a trade involving Draymond Green, it is a fascinating proposition. A package of Draymond Green and James Wiseman is the most intriguing for both sides. For the 76ers, they would receive a defensive-minded presence in Green, who holds similar limitations as Simmons offensively, has a better feel for the game.
For Golden State, another championship window opens for Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Simmons could fit into the role Green has filled for almost seven years in Golden State. With two of the greatest shooters surrounding a generational passer, Simmons could thrive in Golden State. This trade is the riskiest, yet the most exciting.